The 50th Year (part 1)

Let’s start from the beginning. Not 1966. Just the beginning of the 50th year. A little back story first.

July 4th, 1976 I was 10 years old. It was the 200th birthday of the USA. It was a great day with my family. That night I laid in bed. I thought the next important year would be the year 2000. I was sure we would have jet packs. Anyway, I figured out how old I would be. I was like holy hell. 34 is old. I wondered if I would have a wife and kids. Yes to both. But only kids right now.

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So, in the year 2000 I was thinking about my next big year. It was 2016. I would be 50. I called this year “more than half dead year”. You’re hearing that here first.

Well between all these “important” dates fuckery was following me like a demon in a horror movie.

Divorce(s), owning a business, having said business kick my ass, bankruptcy, school,  jobs that I was not happy with. That could be a whole series. Not going to share that.

Shit, I almost forgot. I am a Marine.

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A few years ago. I was dating this girl. We were planning this huge trip among other things for my 50th birthday. Weeks in Europe back packing, staying in hostels, and documenting it all. I was beyond excited. I was packing my GORUCK GR2 with all kinds of gear for this trip. Fresh passport and I even looked like a Eastern Bloc local in the photo. I do not care to share exactly what happened, but Europe was off. I got off the grid for a while and hid from life. Europe will eventually happen.  

 

Then I met someone who repaired every bit of the damage I had ever had. She moved in with me and happiness was everywhere. She is very special to me. We are no longer together, but will always be connected. She is a huge part of the 50th year.

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Her and I were out trail running, I tweaked my ankle on a pine cone. She was examining my foot making sure I was ok. She noticed on the bottom of my foot on the ball was a small little blemish that looked like a blood blister. She was leaving for basic in a few days and made me promise to get it checked out.

I made an appointment and a week or two later I was at the doctor getting a biopsy. It was a Monday. I was in the oil field when I got the call from the nurse. She asked if I could come in to speak with my doctor immediately. It was Wednesday. She took me back to his office. I am sitting there scared sitting on his sofa. He comes in and tells me I have stage 2 melanoma.

I have cancer. The demon is back.

I have cancer. He had my surgery scheduled for the next Tuesday. The cancer is in my foot. How do you get foot cancer? I have cancer. My dad died of cancer and now I have it. I only told a few people. Most of you are hearing it here for the first time. I called my friend Doc. He is actually a Dr. I have cancer. I do not remember anything we talked about. But I do know he was trying to tell me everything was ok.

That weekend I had a GORUCK event in NOLA. It was a big one. A reunion of sorts. I participated in this event drunk as you could be. It was the hardest event I had done due to being so drunk. I have cancer. I can be drunk and have a semi par performance.

I did not tell my girlfriend I had cancer. I kept telling her all was well and that I was ok. She had enough stress going through Army Basic. I spoke with her that weekend. She uplifted me.

I did eventually tell her. Let’s wait a few for that.

I called my daughter and my son next. Telling them what had happened. My daughter and son in law came up from Austin. She had googled so much about my cancer, I felt she was qualified to perform the surgery or assist. I realized that would not happen when my Aggie Dr comes in to meet my Longhorn daughter and son in law.

It was a few days, then I got word all margins clear. I was cancer free. With a huge hole in my foot. Did you know Bob Marley died of foot cancer.

A few weeks later I get to FaceTime my girlfriend. I tell her everything and how she saved my life. The Surgeon told me he had to go really deep and it would have progressed to full blown cancer had I not come in when I did.

I still love her. I always will. It is a special love when you have someone save your life. I would not have gone to the doctor if she had not made me promise to. Our not being together may or may not be discussed a little later. She saved my life.

Oil field. I was laid off. The 50th year was sucking pretty good. I have great friends that encouraged me. Amazing kids and a girlfriend that is in the Army that saved me from cancer.  The Twin City Bomber Bash was pretty good this year. The Custom Bomber Bash Light was a mini Heavy. Things were going in the right direction. So there is light at the end of this tunnel.

I was texting a friend one day and told him I was laid off and there were no oil field jobs. FU Obama. He said write the owner of GORUCK, who is also a friend, an email. I did.

I love GORUCK. It has changed my life and I want people to experience what I have by doing these events. I have wrote before about my GR1. It’s my backpack.

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Anyway, they decide to hire me. FU demons I am back winning.

No Europe. But, life is great. Fantastic job, great kids, no cancer, moving to Jacksonville Beach, and a beautiful, smart, girlfriend who can detect cancer.

The process is started. I have a POD on order. I am packing the house. I am moving to the freaking beach for a dream job. We find a great place to rent that will take our 4 rescue pups.

It happened out of the blue. I do not have a girlfriend anymore. We will not talk about that anymore. Discussion about her is off limits. She saved my life, so remember that.

Lease signed, deposits made. Then a demon hurricane. Yes, that is a thing.  WTF Hurricane Matthew is headed towards my rental. Thankfully he gave my place a pass. I say bye to my family and friends. I leave my home for most of my life. Goodbye Louisiana.

Hello Florida. That was a hella ride here. 4 dogs in the back seat of a Jeep packed full. What was supposed to be a 12 hour trip. Turns into a 15 hour ordeal with stops to let dogs pee every so often.

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Within the first few weeks of being here. Petey my oldest pup hurts his back and would not eat or drink. Thankfully he heals up quickly. I have other shit going on that I will not talk about.  Since I have moved here I have had two friends come and visit.  OK, I am getting off track.

Right now I have this amazing job, with a group of fantastic people. I have projects at work I am uber excited about. I am interacting with really cool people. There are dogs at work.  My rental is a short walk to the beach. I bike to work almost every day. I enjoy working with these driven people and their dogs. Dogs should always get two mentions. I am blessed.

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Is everything good? Kinda, yes, maybe. I realized there will always be demons chasing me.

This also, if you are 30 and tell me you are old. Go fuck yourself.

So here I am almost at the end of 2016. I am 50 years old aka almost half dead and single. Having to go and get checked for cancer every year and maybe shortening my life a little doing Crossfit. I look in the mirror and I do not recognize my face sometimes. Please use a sunscreen with a high SPF.

Is this what I expected for the 50th year? No. In some ways it exceeded my expectations. My kids, son in law, job, dogs, and a close circle of friends. All of that I feel is beyond what I deserve. Having someone enter my life for a short period and being so impactful, I did not see that coming.

What is the next big year? I just gave up on that. I know we do not have jet packs and it is not really feasible. That sucks because it would be super rad.

I do know that you must surround yourself with good, solid people. My most important thing I learned is about unconditional love. You do not get that share.  It is private and buried in a deep vault in my soul.

Being “more than half dead” is good and bad. I wish that I had some really cool knowledge to share with you. But I do not. I am just going to try to enjoy every second I can because you never know when it might end. It does end. I can attest to that.

Be kind, polite and honest. Read books, have a drink every so often and If you love someone make sure they know it.

I keep my private life private. I am protective over my kids, friends, and pups. This is hard to share, but I feel I need to.I do not know how to end this little story. I am thankful for all that I have. Family, friends, dogs, coworkers, and my job. I love my daughter, son in law, and my son.

I will have more to say during The 50th Year Part 2. There is something that I hope happens. we will have to wait and see.  Right now I am going to spend some time with my pups. Thank you for listening.

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13 thoughts on “The 50th Year (part 1)

  1. Dude some of this I knew about, I purposely called the hell out of you do watch me do probably one of my last events (something even my brother didn’t know), especially drunk, where I met new “battle buddies” and more.
    Love ya like a brother, and now I have a place to place to crash in JAX😉
    F cancer.

    Btw what’s up with the photo?

    Liked by 1 person

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